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7/10/2012

Does Stoos Need a Manifesto?

Summary of a Stoos Stampede session, jointly facilitated by Steffen Lentz and my humble self.


Since Stoos was kicked off in January I had several discussions on this topic with different people. A question, that always arose was, why the initial Stoos21 did not come up with a manifestiish kind of document to make a bold statement on the mission of Stoos.

Now you cannot say, that the Stoos21 did not come up with anything. There is at least a description of the targeted problem and a vague idea how a different szenario could look like on the main page of the Stoos network. Additionally there is the clear message, that Stoos' intention is to change the world:
We are trying to change the world
Given the fact, that 21 people (mostly strangers) had only two days to come together, introduce each other, set up an atmosphere of trust and respect, this result is not bad! Still, to me - and most of the people I discussed with - there was a very central questions left open:


What exactly is the mission and vision of the Stoos network?

To address this question, I proposed the session "Does Stoos Need a Manifesto?" at the Stoos Stampede 2012. At the Stampede Steffen and I decided to join his session "Pitches and Propositions" and mine, since we seemed to have similar targets.

What happened at this session?


The somewhat provocative title of the session worked out nicely and some interested people came together. Steffen already described his view on the session and the participants at the StoosXChange-Wiki.

The discussion was really interesting and very clarifying! Initially some of the participants wanted to agree on a common set of values for the Stoos network, which was kind of obvious since there were certain values mentioned in nearly every session. But the attending Stoos21 participants resisted this move by explaining, that Stoos is not about values, but about "finding different ways" and that those ways can be different for every single organization. It became clear fastly, that this was a point accepted by all participants and that a manifesto would definitely not be the right way to express this.

But after approximately 30 minutes of discussion everybody in the room felt, that there was something missing. That the mission of Stoos could be made more concrete without commiting on certain values. The key common elements were: "finding a better way", "we believe in people and bring them together", "we want to create epiphany/enlightment moments and learning opportunities", and this should happen by "self-organization", which needs a certain container.
Result of the "Manifesto"-session
I will try to summarize my current understanding of the Stoos mission in short:

We believe in people and their potential! We bring them together to create epiphany moments and learning opportunities. Together we will find different and better ways to manage our organizations.

Does not fit into one tweet, thus there will probably still be a lot of work to do ;-). I am curious if there will pop up other views besides this and this (nice video!) in the next days and if a clear mission will be articulated.

Staying tuned :-)

Thanks to all participants! This was clearly one of the epiphany moments at the Stoos Stampede for me!

Update: Peter blogged about this session at his blog.

Update 2: Steffen blogged about the topic here.